Despite the lingering horror of the deadly Aurora, Colo., shooting at a midnight screening and strong competition from the London Olympics, “The Dark Knight Rises” continued its box-office dominance over the weekend, even if it fell short of the lofty, record-breaking numbers of its predecessor.
The third and final film in writer/director Christopher Nolan’s Batman saga stayed atop the box office for the second straight weekend, making just more than $64 million. But it’s lagging behind the staggering numbers of the second film in the series, 2008′s “The Dark Knight,” according to the Associated Press.
The three-quel has grossed more than $289 million in its first 10 days in theaters. It was the third-highest 10-day total ever, BoxOfficeMojo.com said on Twitter (@boxofficemojo). Still, “The Dark Knight Rises” dropped 60 percent from its opening weekend of $160.9 million.
By comparison, “The Dark Knight” took a 53 percent drop in its second weekend with a gross of nearly $75.2 million and a 10-day cumulative gross of $313.8 million, according to the AP.
Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., declined to comment to the AP the Sunday estimates again out of respect for the victims of the Aurora, Colo., shooting that left 12 people dead and another 58 injured at a midnight showing of the film on opening night.
Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian told the AP that if anything hurt the box-office numbers this weekend, it was Friday night’s opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which drew a record-setting 40.7 million viewers in the United States.
“For a film that opened as big as this did, considering the situation and what happened last weekend and all that, I would say this is a very strong showing,” Dergarabedian said of “The Dark Knight Rises.” “It’s made almost $300 million in North America and its mid-week (attendance) is very strong. It made $19 million last Monday.”
In second place this weekend was the animated family film “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” which is still going strong in its third week. It made $13.3 million for a domestic total of nearly $114.9 million, according to the AP. The fourth movie in the 20th Century Fox franchise features the voices of Ray Romano, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah.
Both of the new movies in wide release opened weakly. The 20th Century Fox comedy “The Watch” came in third place with $13 million. Big-name comic actors Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill play a group of guys who come together to form a neighborhood watch; despite the star power, the film was panned critically, receiving only 14 percent positive reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes website.
In addition, Southwestern cinema chain Harkins Theatres, which has a Bricktown location, didn’t play “The Watch” at any of its locations this weekend. Harkins Theatres and Twentieth Century Fox were unable to reach an equitable agreement with regards to the film’s licensing fee, according to a Harkins news release.
“Step Up Revolution” — the fourth film in the dance franchise, which is set in Miami this time — opened at No. 4 with $11.8 million. Richie Fay, Lionsgate’s president of domestic distribution, told the AP that the number was a little disappointing because the studio expected it to end up in the mid-teens. But the core audience for the previous three “Step Up” films showed up: 63 percent was female and 71 percent was younger than 24.
In limited release, Fox Searchlight’s “Ruby Sparks” grossed $151,881 in 13 theaters for a strong per-screen average of $11,683. Since its opening Wednesday, it’s made $191,717. The romantic comedy from the directors of “Little Miss Sunshine” stars Paul Dano as a novelist with writer’s block who creates his dream girl, played by Dano’s real-life girlfriend Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the script. Look for my interview with Dano on Aug. 17, when the movie opens in Oklahoma City.
Here are the top 10 movies from the past weekend, courtesy the AP:
1. “The Dark Knight Rises,” $64 million. ($122.1 million international.)
2. “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” $13 million. ($49.4 million international.)
3. “The Watch,” $13 million.
4. “Step Up Revolution,” $11.8 million. ($5.2 million international.)
5. “Ted,” $7.4 million. ($2.7 million international.)
6. “The Amazing Spider-Man,” $6.8 million.
7. “Brave,” $4.2 million. ($9.6 million international.)
8. “Magic Mike,” $2.6 million. ($5.3 million international.)
9. “Savages,” $1.8 million. ($2 million international.)
10. “Moonrise Kingdom,” $1.4 million.